For some reason I've got myself wondering... If I'm kicking off a superhero game set in the late 1950s, what is the future of that world like?
The ability to predict the future is challenging. A high school student in the 1980s, all the science fiction I read and watched pretty much assumed the Soviet Union would be around in the year 2016. Either that or the USA and Soviet Union would be competing to dig themselves out of the rubble of a thermonuclear war.
I'm not certain how much people really believed in the idea that we'd have flying cars, though as a kid who grew up obsessed with the space program, I'm massively disappointed about our lack of space colonies.
One area where we pretty much decimated the predictions of the past is the prevalence of computer technology. I've been using smart phones for years and I'm still amazed at the computing power in our pockets. I remember in the 1980s coordinating with friends to meet at the mall to see a movie - you had to get all the arrangements in advance since you couldn't call each other once you were there.
Perhaps my favorite example of a comic vision of the future is the classic X-Men story Days of Future Past, from Uncanny X-Men 141-142 in 1981, taking place in the futuristic 2013.
I have to confess to having this urge to have the characters travel to the year 2016 where they must sneak across the Berlin Wall and gain access to the East Berlin spaceport...